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ISSUE No.1 Autumn 2010

westworld

Arts, Culture, Music & FILM

FREE

Kowton

Saturday afternoon chat

BrisFest 2010

Three day urban festival extravaganza

Midas

He’s got the Midas touch

Laurie Rollitt

Featured Artist


-2WESTWORLD PART 1

I N T R O D U C T I O N Hello.

Hello readers!

Following the sad demise of the Westworld magazine last year, we have decided to revamp the concept of that publication and combine it with a more traditional approach to arts and culture for the new academic year. The all new Westworld section will incorporate music, film, theatre, art, poetry, photography, fashion and anything else we deem worthy of inclusion. If you’d like to get involved, please submit your ideas to westworld@westerneye.net

I hope you have enjoyed the holidays and are ready for the new year! I absolutely love my new role as sub-editor and I just hope I can live up to the last one! We want to continue to supply you with the juiciest Bristol gossip and latest news and reviews from the ever evolving arts and culture scene but we’ll need your help. We are forever looking for contributors so all you photographers, writers, music fanatics and fashionistas get in touch. We’re going to have an absolute ball.

Enjoy. Sean.

Lots of love, APB.

Publications Editor George Rowe Editor Sean Guest Alice Palmer Brown Creative Directors James Somerfield hello@jamessomerfield.co.uk Alex Green alexinleeds@gmail.com Design James Somerfield hello@jamessomerfield.co.uk Alex Green alexinleeds@gmail.com

UWE Publications Frenchay Campus Coldharbour Lane Bristol, BS16 1QY www.westworldmagazine.net


BRISTOL

PRIDE This year, for the first time ever, Pride came to Bristol. For an entire week events took place all over the city, culminating with Pride Day on Saturday 21st of August. It began with a parade from the Hippodrome to Castle Park, where live music, refreshment stalls and inflatable genitalia awaited, and ended with a downpour typical of the British summer time. Following the event Sean Guest discussed its success with organiser and committee member Leighton De Burca.

W A ‘ O

H T S N

-3How long have the organisers been trying to bring Pride to Bristol? Pride Bristol has been a few years in the making and much ground work was completed in previous years by various community groups. Preparation for this year’s Pride week started last June and was shared between lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Forum members, Community leaders, Committee members and also required the fantastic support of Bristol City Councils Equalities Team, Jo Macdonald and Simon Nelson. Was the event as successful as you hoped it would be? The event was successful in many ways. The most important achievement for any Pride event is to bring the LGBT community together and raise awareness of LGBT issues, which I feel this Pride event managed to do. Was the bad weather a blight on proceedings? The weather was great for most of the day and Bristolians are excellent at maintaining the party spirit despite the rain. I feel it added a festival feel to the event and as we are British, we should be used to the rain! Do the organisers intend to repeat the event and, if so, will it happen on an even larger scale next year? As with all Pride events they are for the community and have to be lead by that community. Next year’s event should be similar to this year’s, but with hopes of an even greater attendance. What was your personal highlight? My personal highlight was the amazing attendance at the community tent, which received such amazing feedback. The tent was set up by Simon Nelson who did an amazing job, as the community is what pride is all about.

I B I T L

N R S O

If you’re new to Bristol, or even not that new, it may be worth mentioning a few great things that are going on this month at some of Bristol’s most earnest venues. The Arnolfini is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary next year and continues to deliver a wide variety of art, music and film. This month it’s worth checking out ‘Fun With Software’, an exhibition that’s running from September 25th through until November. ‘Fun With…’ looks at the history of software, and its relation to humour and fun and focuses on the development of software over the past 50 years through experimentation and art. Don’t miss the new play ‘A Western’ created by Action Hero. This Bristol based production company have toured all over the UK, Europe and the US and finally they’re back here in Bristol. ‘A Western’ is an attempt at a full-blown western with cowboys, saloons, prostitutes and all - but on a shoestring budget. This play delivers blood, guts and tears in one unique, ambitious, inventive feel good production. And if that isn’t enough to get your bum on a seat, the promoters are giving out free shots of whisky to all in attendance. So, get a ticket and get down early for a tipple… If checked shirts and cowboy boots isn’t your thing, head down to The Big Chill in the city centre to see Tru Thought’s ‘Hint’ on September 10th. It’ll be pure funk and electronic sounds to keep your pumps cantering around the dancefloor all night long. Best of all? It’s free. If soul’s your thing, also at the Big Chill this month is ‘Root Elevation’ - a night that supplies the best in soul music; past, present and unheard every Thursday.

Arnolfini / ‘Fun With’ / Sat 25 Sep - Sun 21 Nov Free Tobacco Factory Theatre / ‘A Western’ / Mon 13th Sep 8pm Tuesday 14th 8pm - Wed 15th Sep 9.30pm Full £10 / Concessions £7 Big Chill, 15 Small St, Bristol / ‘Root Elevation’s Type Sun’ / Every Thursday in September Free


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LAURIE ROLITT laurierollit@blogspot.com

Isolating yourself in the Sweedish countryside with a game of monopoly and supereme biting horse flys is not many peoples idea of fun, well inspiration can be found in the stragest of places and this is indeed the latest of Laurie’s tales. Laurie Rollitt is a illustrator and designer who is currently studying at the University of West England. At a tender age of 21 Laurie has already grabbed a lot of attention in the Bristol area working for companies such as My Yard and Seven. His drawings have evolved over the past two years of study yet he has maintained a traditionalist feel which has the ability to evoke his true talent. Laurie studied at the well regarded Falmouth College of Art, which has a reputation for producing some of the finest and most talented illustartors in this new generation of designers. Submit Artwork westworldinfo@gmail.com


-5The invention of the spray can meant that tags could develop in size and colour; allowing for effects such as 3D and bubble writing, each artist began gaining a sense of their own style. By the 1970’s, writers started to paint larger pieces on subway trains, hence the name ‘subway art;’ with the chance for pieces to be seen miles away, artists would often compete to become the ‘King’ or ‘Queen’ of the underground graffiti scene. The genre of hip hop had a huge impact with this art form, with many rap video’s being strewn with colours and characters galore. As we all know, Bristol played a huge part in the underground hip hop scene, acting as a home for the artists desperate to share their talents. If you take a stroll down Stokes Croft, it’s hard not to notice the shapes and letters that adorn any free space; making this part of the city, the spray can’s favourite playground. Midas is a young artist, currently studying Graphic Design at the University of the West of England. Realising his passion from a very young age, he’s been creating pieces for over ten years; some of his best showcased on trains around the world. I met up with him for a swift half to talk about his influences, illegal issues and how growing up on a farm can have its advantages... How did you first get into graffiti? I’ve had a habit of writing on things all my life - I always got into trouble for writing and drawing on anything I could. Some kids called ‘The Blue Bandits’ came and tagged up my primary school and I just thought it was really good. Because I lived on a farm, I got hold of some sheep marker and started writing ‘Blue Bandits’ all over the barns and there was an estate nearby so if they ever saw it, they would think it was the kids from that estate. Two years later there was a graffiti special on The Bill and that’s where I learned all the terminology , like ‘Tagging’ and ‘Bombing’ - I had no idea what they meant at first. A couple of my friends had caught on and we were always competitive and we’d tag the school with board pens. There was a legal wall at my school so I just started practising there and through the internet I met some other writers and it all just spiralled up from there really. When I got to about fifteen I started taking it a bit more seriously,

He’s got the midas touch Love it or loathe it. Graffiti has been making a storm on the streets since the late 1960’s. Originating in New York, kids would often write their names along with their street name on buses and subway cars.

it became less of a hobby and more a way of life. Tell us about the pieces you’ve done on the trains... When I used to get the train into cities, I’d go past the freight train yards and see how industrial and fast and quiet they were and I always thought it would be cool to get up at the crack of dawn and walk around there; so I did that basically with a couple of cans of paint and put my name up. I slowly started moving up the tracks and every couple of months I would get closer to where the real trains were kept and I eventually painted one of them. I remember seeing the first train I ever painted running to London and from then on I just thought I can either have a canvas up in my room or on a train that’ll travel 100 miles into the biggest cities. Would you say that Bristol is more accepting of graffiti? If you’re drawing in the smaller cities, then people might be shocked because they’ve never seen it before. It’s more in people’s faces here, so it’s nothing new to them but the reactions can differ. If I were to paint in Bedminster the first person that saw me would be likely to call the police but if I stopped and did a piece in Stokes Croft hardly anyone would bat an eyelid. Only the people chasing monetary figures that are after statistics would be bothered because they’re not living real life. What influences your work? I go through stages - I’ll start off with really simple stuff and then move onto things that are a lot more detailed and technical and then back again. You can go a couple of months doing really long pieces and enjoying it like that or doing really simple pieces and enjoying that side of things. My influences come from modern illustration, not illustration that’s supposed to look like something. If I was to give it a name it would be ‘uni-illustrationlol-chic;’ it’s not trying to look amazing, it’s just full of funny characters and funny fonts. I’d like to think I’ve created my own style in my artwork called ‘mistake-chic, which can be sometimes seen in my graff. You leave all the mistakes and often add things you know are going to look wrong, like drips and using the caps that come with the paint instead of the neat caps. I’m not into cleanliness within my work; I like it to be mix

media D.I.Y. What would you say to people that think graffiti is purely vandalism? I’d tell them to read books that explain about the crews behind graffiti. It’s not just a couple of kids writing their names everywhere, these people have reasons for wanting to showcase their art. Maybe the government hasn’t treated them right or they’re sick of seeing every blank space filled with an advertisement. So, you’re kind of going out of your way to advertise yourself and using your ingenuity like going out at night to advertise yourself for free. It’s strange that just because you haven’t got money in your pocket that you can get arrested for that. Finally, how would you justify the art of graffiti? One of the more well known guys just painted a load of freight trains for the background of a major film; so, if you think everyone hates it and thinks it would be nicer without graff, why are these company’s paying big money to include it? That’s because it’s part of society. In court recently, they told me that my actions damaged the rail company’s reputation by bringing fear and degravation to the company’s image and that people are intimidated when they see graffiti. My solicitor replied by saying ‘Isn’t it strange that he gets paid a lot of money to go to London and paint graffiti on the side of vans which has given the company an amazing image and popularity in the press?’ Surely those vans would be making people intimidated, surely the company would be worried about their image. It’s not a well thought out argument, it’s just the accepted one against graffiti. No one’s thought, ‘would I really be scared if a big bit of colour with some characters rolled in on a train? Would I be happier to see the logo of the train I’ve seen everyday for six months? Or would it be amazing if everyday as I sat there, I had a new piece of artwork stood in front of me?’ Check out some of Midas’ masterpieces at www.midasyeah.blogspot.com


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An Interview With

Kowton

Deep in the murky depths of house and dubstep lies one of the freshest and most upcoming producers of 2010;

By Sammy maine

Kowton also known as Narcossist has been signed to the Keysound and Idle Hands record labels since moving from Manchester to Bristol. Mixing seductive, sultry beats, Kowton manages to create dub that fans drool for, as well as playing the best spots in town such as Crash Mansion and our very own Westworld fundraiser. I met up with him on a very sunny Saturday afternoon for a chat about how this all came about, and of course a cheeky cider or three.

How did you first get into producing? I think I just wanted some turntables and couldn’t afford them. I read in a magazine that if you bought Logic you could mix tunes together, so I bought that and started trying to time stretch tunes together; but anyone who produces knows that it sounds pretty awful. After about a year of doing that, I realised that actually making tunes was the way to go. Would you say the scene in Bristol has influenced your music? I guess so, it’s a great scene, it’s quite diverse - you’ve got Pev (Peverelist, owner of Rooted Records) who does his banging dubstep right through to Guido and Joker who are doing very full-on rave music. So there’s a lot of things to be influenced by and they’re all great - there’s not many cities that have such a diverse and solid scene. I’m quite new compared to a lot of other people, but it’s been very welcoming. You produce under two names [Kowton & Narcossist]... what made you decide to do that? When I started out, I was making proper dubstep, which was dark and a bit scary or whatever... kind of 140 BPM. About three years ago I decided to start making slower stuff, like 120 BPM; maybe back then it wasn’t the same as it is now, it wasn’t normal for people to make slow and fast tunes at the same time. So I started basically making house derived dubstep and just settled with that name [Kowton]. Maybe if I started making garage tunes again, I’d do the Narcossist thing, but it makes sense, doing the tunes I’m doing, to produce under a different name. You’ve mentioned ‘what was dubstep’... how do you think it’s changed? All that mid-range, aggressive stuff is quite far divorced from the music I’ve started liking, what was called ‘dubstep’ in like, 2004 / 2005. But the genre name has been thoroughly appropriated by that scene; people would say ‘oh, we’re dubsteppers’ or like, 16 bit - that’s dubstep. I guess its moulding into a new genre now, but you wouldn’t want to give it a name. There’s definitely a lot of people who used to be part of the dubstep scene, that are still part of the same scene and are getting booked by the same people but they don’t make ‘dubstep’ anymore - everyone’s just moved on.

You’re studying Music Tech Masters at UWE, has that helped at all with producing? Well, the whole way that music tech is taught is more towards the developing of software and stuff to actually make music with. There’s very little help with making tunes in my experience. I mean it’s different, because it makes you think about the way you’re doing things and whether you want to be doing things that way. It’s cool in the respect that it can affect the sounds you make but I don’t think it really has any affect on the music itself. Would you say your music has improved along the way? I think with time you realise what you need and what you don’t need - you could bang everything in there and fill every little second of time, something that might persuade people that it’s interesting. But after about five or six years, you start to realise, hang on... leave that space, it sounds better than cramming something in there. I guess it’s just a maturity of sound. Where do you see your music going in the next few years? Just developing and working towards the idea, again, with the maturity of knowing what goes into a good tune... that I can maybe writing something that in ten years time people will listen back to and be like ‘yeah, that was a great tune.’ I don’t want to make tunes that are alright for this week, that’s not really an end goal to anything. Don’t rush it... in the process of actually writing the tune, just take your time. Sit on it for a while; don’t have the urgency... instead of that, just wait and see if it still sounds good in a week and then see what other people think of it. And again, a cliché answer but just do your own thing; so many people seem to be intent on how to recreate what’s already been done. Just take your time and enjoy it.


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Although the festival season is almost at an end, BrisFest 2010 offers one last chance to enjoy some live music, minus the mud…

workshops and much, much more. The central hub of the festival will be located in the Lloyds Amphitheatre in Bristol City Centre, just a hop, skip and possibly a bus ride away from whichever campus you happen to be at.

If you’ve just arrived in Bristol and fancy checking out the local talent, Brisfest 2010, a three day urban festival extravaganza, might prove to be just the place for you. BrisFest, which will be taking place from the 24th- 26th of September 2010, boasts headliners including the likes of

Organised by the Bristol festival Community Group, the festival, which last year drew thousands of visitors to the city, started life after the green field Ashton Court festival shut up shop in 2006 following a financial crisis. Bristol residents got together to create Bristol Festival in 2008, before it was re-located to the city centre and eventually renamed BrisFest. The festival draws solely on talent from across the South-West, and is almost entirely run by volunteers from Bristol and the surrounding area. Also returning this year is the mighty Rave-on-Avon, a massive after-party clubbing event held on the Saturday night of the festival. Rave-on-Avon incorporates 12 venues throughout the City Centre and entry is included in the festival ticket price. If you are new to Bristol it might provide the perfect opportunity to check out some of Bristol’s best clubbing venues.

Black Out JA, The Heavy, Aquasky +Ragga Twins and The Correspondents.

With over 500 artists in attendance and a total of nine stages, BrisFest also promises a wide variety of live music, art installations, food and festival tents, light shows, street theatre,

Bris Fest 2010

a preview! By Lucia Dobson-Smith

If you’re a budding musician, you might also be interested in the Music Industry Marquee, located just outside the main festival sit in Millennium Square, which will be hosting a series of talks, workshops and industry stalls aimed at providing information and inspiration for those interested in a career in the music industry. There will also be demo panel session hosted by notaries including Matt Booth (Bristol Music Foundation), Mike Smith (Gorrilaz/Blur), Sean Holbrook (Run Boy Run Label Management) and more, willing to receive your pitch and offer their expert advice. For more information on the festival, or to find out how you can get your hands on tickets, check out www.brisfest.co.uk

Ticket prices are £15.00 for the three days of the festival with unlimited access to the site, or £20.00 including access to all Rave-on-Avon venues on the 25th of September.

Bristolian playwright Shaun McCarthy’s tale of life on the road rolls into town... The event upon which Shaun McCarthy’s play is based occurred on Saturday 1st June 1985 and is commonly referred to as the Battle of the Beanfield. When police attempted to stop a convoy of, in the words of the programme notes, ‘new age travellers’ from attending the Stonehenge Free Festival a riot broke out and officers attacked the procession, injuring hundreds and forcing them to flee to a nearby beanfield where they were arrested. The events depicted are based upon the accounts of several individuals who were members of the convoy and are relayed through the narrative of a traveller named Steamer (Ben Crispin), whose relationship with Annie (Katie Villa), an upper class girl on the run, provides an engaging sub-text that serves to highlight the class battle at the heart of the tale. Whilst Crispin’s portrayal is powerful, earnest and often amusing, Georgie Reynolds steals the show as Diane, a working class girl who inadvertently joins the convoy during a night out. Reynolds’ convincing West Country accent reminds the audience that the events depicted occurred close to home and consequently draws them into the imaginary convoy, ensuring that a cast of five actors is more than adequate. Bennie (Ben Simpson) and Lex (Eli Thorne) are also along for the ride, representing a more sinister side of the traveller’s life through their involvement with drugs and anarchy. However, Simpson’s performance as a narrow-minded working class tourist from Birmingham, who gets caught up in the convoy, and Thorne’s depiction of an angry police constable, who spews Thatcher’s rhetoric in a manner that turns the stomach, provide a claustrophobic political context that at once enhances the scope of the production and encourages the audience to side with the travellers. The threadbare set and sound effects, provided by a man sitting in an old car seat at the side of the stage, ensure that the characters and the narrative, into which they are neatly woven, carry the burden of enlivening a story that is simple, yet sincere. With the assistance of a handful of Shakespearean quotations, numerous verbal assaults on Thatcher’s reign and

some genuinely amusing dialogue they succeed and the boos and hisses drawn from the audience by the angry constable’s diatribe about an individual’s right to freedom reiterates the timeless relevance of the writer’s message. In fact, Shaun McCarthy’s programme notes reiterate the sentiment of those involved in the Battle of the Beanfield, ‘that people should be free to live how they wished, and that a happy life did not automatically equate to a healthy bank balance’, the essence of which is captured by his characters who are bold, genuine and at times a little rough around the edges, much like the play itself.

Beanfield

at the Brewery Theatre By Sean Guest

Westworld - Issue 1 - Sept. 2010  

The arts/music/culture/theatre/etc section of the WesternEye, Bristol UWE's student newspaper. Pure straight amazingness from cover to cover...

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